Your Black Muslim Bakery is probably the last thing Oakland needs right now. But it’s getting it anyway.
Minister Dahood Sharrieff Bey gathers his workers inside Your Black Muslim Temple No. 1 and delivers a sermon.
As a suited young man stands sentry outside the West Oakland headquarters, Bey presides over an organization that he and his followers have spent years quietly modeling after an intimidating criminal enterprise with a record of violence and fraud that a prosecutor once said terrorized the city: Your Black Muslim Bakery.
“Now the persecution is upon the people,” Dahood Bey said in a lecture posted to YouTube in 2011, his words reminiscent of his late mentor, bakery founder Yusuf Bey. “You’re seeing the results of desolation. You’re seeing the results of the white man’s evil.”
Speaking of evil… there’s Your Black Muslim Bakery.
Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV plotted the murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey and other crimes in 2007 in a desperate attempt to save the bakery from bankruptcy, a prosecutor alleges in a recent court filing.
Bey, 24, and former bakery employee Antoine Mackey, also 24, will stand trial early next year on three counts of murder for the deaths of Bailey, who was the editor of the Oakland Post, Odell Robertson Jr. and Michael Wills in Oakland in the summer of 2007.
Krum said the bakery was founded by Bey’s father, Yusuf Bey, in 1968 but he died of cancer in October 2003 while waiting to stand trial on charges of child molestation and forcible rape, oral copulation and sodomy.
The prosecutor alleged that Bey IV had two motives for having Bailey killed: “IV despised Bailey form writing what IV perceived to be scandalous or libelous stories about IV’s father molesting and raping children and he found out that Bailey was writing a negative story about IV and the impending ruin of his business and sought to keep the story from making the paper, lest it ruin his chances to avoid Chapter 7 liquidation in the bankruptcy court.”
Bey IV became the bakery’s leader in October 2005 after two previous leaders who had succeeded his father were killed, Krum said.
Krum said Bey and Mackey were driving down the street while talking about the Zebra killers, whom she said were “a group of black men in the early 1970s who were notorious for committing a series of murders and other violent attacks on white citizens in San Francisco.
She said Bey “considered the Zebra Killers to be giving the white community ‘a taste of their own medicine’” for violence done by whites on blacks, such as lynchings.
Krum said that during the discussion about the Zebra Killers, Bey and Mackey spotted Wills walking down the street and Bey pulled his car over, Mackey got out, chased Wills down and shot and killed him.
Krum said in her motion that she wants to introduce evidence that Bey and several bakery associates kidnapped two women in Oakland in May of 2007 because it shows how bleak the bakery’s financial situation was at the time.
The Zebra Murders get much less publicity because they were violently racist.
The Zebra Killings occurred in the San Francisco bay area between 1972 and 1974 and left 71 people dead.
The majority of the attacks were carried out by five members of a group within Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam called the “Death Angels.” Jesse Lee Cooks, J.C. Simon, Larry Green, Manuel Moore and Anthony Harris were part of this group which believed that whites were created 3,000 years ago by a black mad scientist named Yacub who wanted a race of inferiors to rule over. Death Angels believed they could earn “points” towards going to heaven when they died if they killed whites.
Bey, a self-appointed minister who gave himself the title of “Dr.,” was formerly a hairdresser. He opened Your Black Muslim Bakery in the early 1970s, espousing black self-reliance and his own interpretation of Islam, which included racist attacks on whites. Nevertheless, in his more than 30 years in North Oakland, Bey gained the support of local business leaders, clergy and politicians eager to align with the underclass.
Banks, who was born in the East Bay, said her father, who had a drug problem, met Bey’s followers while doing jail time for drug-related crimes.
One Sunday night in 1976, Bey invited Banks to spend the night in his apartment, telling her she could play with his baby daughter. Banks was nervous and thought it strange to spend time with Bey, then 41. But her older sister had spent the night there and returned toting candy and new clothes. She said that night marked the first time Bey molested her. She was 8.
Bey told her to tell no one, she said. If she did, she would be killed.
“But he didn’t stop with me,” she said. “He told me he’d murder my whole family, everyone.”
She delivered the first of three children by Bey at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley at 13.
Not long after, Banks said, Bey came into her bedroom above the bakery while she was sleeping, and raped her. She was 10 and remembers wearing one-piece pink zip-up pajamas. After the assault, she sought help from Nora Bey, then 23, one of the minister’s many “wives.” Banks’ father had surrendered his paternal rights so Yusuf Bey could receive welfare for their care; the court appointed Nora Bey, later known as Esperanza Johnson, as their legal guardian.
“ ‘I need you to help me because he’s trying to do things to me,’ ” Banks recalls telling Nora Bey. “And her comment was, ‘Oh, girl, he’s not going to do anything to you that he hasn’t done to anyone else.’ ”
In the bakery’s school, Yusuf Bey’s doctrine was drilled into the children. Girls were taught to cover their heads; everyone was addressed as “brother” or “sister.” Bey preached the superiority of men over women and of blacks over whites. Whites, he said, were “the devil” and responsible for all the world’s problems.
“The men were the ceiling, and women were the floor,” Banks said, quoting Bey.
All the while, Banks said, Bey received – and kept for himself – welfare payments and food stamps intended for Banks, her siblings, others and eventually the children born as a result of the rapes. Bey was said to have more than 40 children and called up to 100 women his wives.
And now it’s making a horrible comeback.
Dahood Bey, 42, has emerged as the leader of an insular organization many thought extinct.
He has twice threatened to kill people, including the mother of one of his children, court records show. He also pleaded no contest to perjury for giving the Department of Motor Vehicles false applications that netted him 22 driver’s licenses all bearing different names, photographs, physical descriptions or birth dates, records show.
Another Black Muslim whom Dahood Bey was charged with torturing in 2009 described him in court as a “more than zealous” disciple of Yusuf Bey who believed the firebrand preacher was “a great man.”
Karl Evanzz, who wrote a biography of Muhammad, said the Oakland temple is one of several practicing his “true teachings,” including a “bizarre notion that Caucasians are the physical embodiment of biblical devils.”
“The return to the primitive teachings of the Nation of Islam is perhaps a response to worsening racial conditions in black enclaves throughout the nation,” Evanzz said.
… or you know, just plain old racism. And here’s a fine member of Your Black Muslim Bakery at work.